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11/15/18, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Please join us for a discussion with Jim Durst and Eric Brennan

Thursday, November 15th 2018

3-5pm, followed by a potluck

70 Cottonwood St, Woodland CA (Norton Hall)


Join Jim Durst, Durst Organic Growers, and Eric Brennan, Organic Research Horticulturalist USDA, for an afternoon conversation on the ins and outs of successful on-farm production and management of cover crops.

Topics covered in the discussion will include:

  • Expectations for benefits from cover cropping
  • Cover cropping, soil health and microbes
  • Irrigation management and decisions, especially during low rainfall winters
  • Writing a nitrogen budget with cover crops
  • Cover crop scheduling
  • Mow, disc, bale?
  • Weed management
  • Selecting the right cover crops
  • Economics of cover cropping

The learning lab will be discussion-based and potluck style, and will be facilitated by Margaret Lloyd, Cooperative Extension Small Farms Advisor. Please bring a dish to share or just come.

About the Presenters

Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA Research Horticulturalist in Salinas, has focused on understanding long-term effects of cover cropping. His research studies the impacts of compost, cover crops and crop rotation with different management schemes including, fallow, winter cover crop, and compost on commercial operations, while evaluating soil quality and microbial impacts, among others. Focused on organic production, he is passionate about sustainability and has developed extensive publications, which you can view on his YouTube channel or publication list.

Jim Durst, CEO and director of Durst Organic Farming, has been growing organically since 1988. The Durst Family has been farming Yolo County since the late 1800’s, but Jim, along with his wife Deborah, took a new direction—farming organic fresh market produce. They developed a farm philosophy that guides their business: “We believe growing food should not come at the cost of hurting our workers or the ecological systems around us”. With this in mind, Jim has studied the ecological impacts of cover cropping while balancing the economic requirements. He has much to share about what he has learned from 30 years of cover cropping!


Dr. Margaret Lloyd has served as the Small Farms Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento Counties since 2015. Her research program and outreach are focused on organic production of mixed vegetables.

A bit about the Farmer-Researcher Spotlight Series

This is the 1st of a series of four learning labs that will explore a variety of farm management tools related to soil health. For each spotlight, we invite a farmer and a researcher to join in conversation to discuss success stories and challenges related to: i) Successful cover cropping; ii) Increasing soil organic matter; iii) Reducing tillage in vegetable production; iv) Boosting beneficial soil microbes; and v) Water: Doing more with less. Stayed tuned for the next spotlight series in January 2019.


Margaret Lloyd



Norton Hall


70 Cottonwood Street, Woodland, CA, 95694